I just spent nearly four days offline. Yes, I checked in on my Blackberry periodically (though the frequency of checking decreased exponentially as the hours passed), but I didn’t crack open my laptop once during this time (a rarity for me). Prior to these four days I took Laurel with me to New York City for work and wasn’t online much during that time either. Don’t get me wrong, I love you internet, but here are 10 reasons why I loved being away from you most of this past week:
1. Laurel and I experienced a series of firsts together. It wasn’t our first mom-daughter work trip, but it was our first time riding the Acela, strolling the streets of Manhattan, visiting $5 jewelry street vendors, getting her first manicure (yep, I splurged on the $5 per thumb floral design), and ordering room service together. Also, Laurel got to meet a celebrity, who immediately complimented her on said $5 jewelry. Laurel declared the city that never sleeps too busy for her to live in, but we had a fantastic time visiting.
2. Jon, Laurel, and I enjoyed three blissful days in Maine with some of our favorite friends on the planet (I miss you tremendously already Anne, Michael, Lucy, and Olivia). We built sandcastles, dipped toes (or more) into the frigid sea, walked around town, lounged around the house, sipped cocktails, laughed, talked late into the night, ate marvelous food, did puzzles, and for the most part got to witness kids playing remarkably well together. Also, one late afternoon while we were frolicking along the shore, I saw a seal poke its head up above water, probably about 10 feet from us. I fah-reaked.
3. Because we were a group of four parents and three children who all trusted one another, I could go for a run (a beautiful loop that ended along the ocean) one day, and do yoga the next without feeling pressed for time.
4. I got to watch Laurel fly a kite for the first time. Oh me, oh my, I almost cried.
5. I cooked Korean for our friends. It made me so, so happy. And even the kids devoured the scallion pancakes.
6. Immediately after our return from Maine, my family and I gathered to memorialize the fifth year since my father’s death. I miss my dad a lot and welcome moments where I can reflect and feel grateful for the time I had with him.
7. My family and I went out for an insanely huge Korean meal, then went back to my mom’s house to celebrate my niece Alyssa’s birthday. Given the size of our family, we’re not all together often. In fact, I think it’s been almost a year since the last time that happened. There was so, so much laughter.
8. Alyssa received a spa kit for her birthday and she and Laurel immediately “opened up shop” to clients. It was through this experience that I was reminded of just how much my siblings love these kids. Everyone -- men included -- agreed to get their nails painted. I love that my brother just laughed and didn’t get mad when Laurel told him he had the “messiest feet in the whole world!”
9. Shopping for Alyssa’s birthday presents in Maine was super fun. Not only did I get to have a little shopping excursion and one on one time with Anne, but while I browsed journals for Alyssa, I decided to buy myself a beautiful journal to record inspiration offline. I don’t think I’ve purchased a journal for myself since high school.
10. Taking an internet break sometimes means that you come back to fun things and surprises. Such as this delightfully fitting post from Gwen Bell about taking a digital sabbatical. Or this post by my delicious foodie friend Rachel, who kindly included me in a roundup of some of her favorite nominees for the BlogLuxe Awards. Or this generous post from Jennifer James, who included me as an example of someone who blogs with focus and professionalism. Or these fun photos from my first time modeling on a runway (as part of Room To Grow’s Fashion Forward event)
Yes, my inbox now overflows, but my work life did not crumble because I was offline. I feel happy, rejuvenated, and ready to rock it. Though I'm still going to take it easy today given that it's officially a holiday.
Have you unplugged lately? I hope you’re planning on it soon!